Majid Kapra

Residents, traders protest against closure of old Habakadal bridge

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Srinagar, Feb 25: Residents and traders of Habakadal area held a joint protest on Tuesday against ‘arbitrary’ suspension of public and vehicular movement over the Habbakadal bridge since August 05 last year.

Shouting slogans, dozens of local residents and traders this afternoon hit streets, urging the authorities to ‘unblock’ the Old Habakadal bridge which they said continues to remain closed since August last year.

The protesting residents claimed that the area comes under the jurisdiction of police station Shaheedgunj; however it is the Kralkhud police station which has blocked the bridge for both public and vehicular movement since August 05, 2019.

They said the CRPF personnel stationed in the nearby camp, on the directions of police, have placed barricades and razor wires to restrict public movement on the bridge causing huge inconveniences to public besides inflicting losses on the business community.

“We request the government to kindly have pity on us. We are suffering huge business losses due to closure of the old bridge,” said Ajaz Ahmad, a local shopkeeper

He said a joint delegation of residents and traders met various higher-ups in the administration to get the issue resolved; however nothing has been done in this direction so far.

When contacted, Sanjay Gupta, Public Relation Officer (PRO) CRPF,  said since he is out of Valley, he may not be able to provide any details on the issue.

However, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Dr Haseeb Mughal said “barricades and razor wires on a particular road or bridge are generally placed to maintain law and order, but I will still look into the matter.”

Protesters appealed the Lieutenant Governor to issue immediate orders for restoration of public and transport movement on old Habakadal bridge.

“This area has not witnessed a single instance of violence ever since the government repealed special status of Jammu and Kashmir. If this area is peaceful, then what makes authorities to close down this bridge,” protestors asked.

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